Off to School

Oh no!

It’s off to school again in a month or two and your little ones will face some new challenges.

If they have already been attending classes, the last years have been disruptive with the pandemic forcing many not to attend school in person. Education by Zoom. This year may be the first in a while when everything is “back to normal”, although to kids today, what is normal?

Depending on age, this may not be back to school but rather school for the first time. This presents another set of problems. Or, your child or children may even be changing schools - different grade levels or perhaps following a move of home.

So, whether it is “off to school” or “back to school” your child will have extra stress - and so will you. Oh, and by the way, if he or she is returning to their school, they will likely encounter new kids joining the class.

So, how can parents and caregivers help minimize these first day jitters? We need to accept that there will be difficulties and work with your little ones before they march into school for that first day of the school year to ensure “first day success” and a minimum of “first day jitters”.

But how best to do it?

GENTLE DISCLOSURE: Following is a "shameless" plug for Sally’s First Day of School, by Lois Petren, a great book for children 3-7 who might be facing any of these school scenarios. Also, Sally will be "out of the vault"! Check Amazon for a Prime Day discount on the ebook version of this book in both English and Spanish between July 12 - 17. ($0.99 - July 12 – 14, 2022 and $2.99 - July 15 – 17, 2022)

Let’s get started.

One of the best ways of teaching children is by telling a fictitious story and including what we want to teach in the narrative. This is what we’ve done for back to school in Sally’s First Day of School.

In this book, Sally, a baby whale shark, is preparing to attend Miss Molly’s school for the first time. She has first day jitters about what to expect, particularly the stress of making new friends. Each of the five mermaids talks with Sally and shows her a way of coping and enjoying her first (and subsequent) days. Sally puts several of the mermaids’ suggestions into practice with good results, such as practicing with her mother and positive self-talk.

The story also covers some things kids might want to do to welcome a new classmate – saying “hi” and smiling, showing them where the toys in the classroom are kept, sitting next to the new one during circle time and at lunch and sharing about their favorite things to do.

By reading this book aloud, a teacher or caregiver, in a fun and age-appropriate way, can help a child overcome those first day jitters and insure that the new school year gets off to a roaring success!

Just as it did for Sally!

The Five Enchanted Mermaids celebrate diversity in our world and the belief that each child deserves to have a mermaid that looks like them. Through their individual personalities and traits, they weave stories that help teach skills for children in this age group.

​The idea for the Five Enchanted Mermaids was born to provide a fun but educational backdrop for girls aged 3 to 7 years. The characters address emotional skills (making friends, resolving conflicts, coping with change, making their own choices and “being good people”) and educational skills (learning to read, the alphabet, counting, symmetrical shapes, time, value of monetary coins/notes) that are important at that age in the development of young girls.

​The stories use each of the diverse mermaids as a role model for behavior and values.

​LifeMadeSimple, LLC and acclaimed children’s book author, Lois Petren, are collaborating to provide a series of books, party accessories and other appropriate items as mermaid gifts for girls to support these goals.

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